A Summer Affair Review
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After reading and reviewing Barefoot, I promised myself that I’d give Elin Hilderbrand a fair shake by reading another one of her books. A Summer Affair is Hilderbrand’s latest, once again set on Nantucket.

Claire Danner Chrispin put aside her career as a successful glass-blower to devote herself to her family. Claire is asked by billionaire philanthropist Lockhart Dixon to help with Nantucket’s annual charity event. Despite the fact that, after taking care of her husband and four kids, she can hardly find a minute to herself, she agrees to take on the huge, time-consuming task of co-chairing the event—mainly to assuage the guilt she feels for not having tried hard enough to prevent Lockhart’s wife, Daphne, from driving after a night out drinking with the girls. As a result, the beautiful Daphne crashed her car and hasn’t been right in the head ever since. As if that weren’t enough, Claire also agrees to come out of retirement to create an extravagant blown-glass chandelier to be auctioned at the event.

On top of dealing with the logistical nightmare of balancing her event responsibilities and her family (I almost lost it when her husband said, “Another meeting? You mean I have to take care of the kids again?”), Claire begins an affair with Lockhart. As you can imagine, problem after problem arises—with Claire’s husband, her best friend, her lover, and her competitive co-chair, socialite Isabelle French, who might be horning in on Lockhart. There are also issues with the gala’s entertainment, a superstar singer who just happens to be Claire’s childhood sweetheart. And—guess what?—he wants her, too!

Honestly, I don’t know how Claire found the time for everything, since she was already immersed in the chaos of her own self-destruction. As I read, I found that I had very little sympathy for Claire—or for the other weak characters who whine their way through this book. Even more perplexing is the very abrupt and unexplained ending, which leaves everything completely unresolved.

Still, A Summer Affair is a little better than Barefoot because it’s not sad (unless you count Daphne, but she comes across as comical). Between the sneaking around and the cat fights going on in this book, at least it’s less likely to throw you into depression.

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